He said he’d fix the shelf.
He said he’d fixed the shelf, but that was only so he could watch the world cup in peace.
She said to herself (there was no point saying it to him), this cabinet needs a good clean. It’s got all the good china and glassware and we never use it, it just slowly collects dust. So she emptied the cabinet one piece at a time, and cleaned each piece and put them on the fixed shelf which was empty so he, the man of the house, could fix it. This she did until the cabinet was empty and she could get right in the corners with the point of a damp tea towel, an old one she kept for just this kind of thing.
And when the cabinet was clean and fresh and the good china and good glassware were ready to move back she stopped and made a cup of tea. One for her and one for him. And she put the cloths in the washing machine for the next load, and she turned back to see the near edge of the shelf dip and swerve like a wave breaking, and the shelf made like a vertical and everything tipped off, slowly but steadily succumbing to gravity, and all she could do was not scream.
Tea pots and cream jugs, and champagne glasses, and Waterford crystal and Royal Doulton, a fine orchestral cacophony of timpani crashing and triangles tinkling and everything breaking, and he came rushing in, wide-eyed.
‘What’s going on ?’
She gave him one of those stares.
‘That shelf still needs fixing’.